Remember that totally excited feeling everyone had a Christmas as a small child. You know, the one that showly builds up for about a week prior to the big day, beginning with that warm tingly feeling inside and ending up on Christmas Eve with so much excitement that you almost miss out on the night before Christmas fun because you cannot wait for the next morning. Just before falling asleep you really did hear Santa’s sleigh bells, didn’t you?
Like many, I suspect, the excitement overflowed in our house at about 3am on Christmas morning after no more than a couple of hours sleep, when I used to wake up and see that Father Christmas had been and the frenzy began. Well almost. I actually used to wake my Mum to ask if I could open my presents! The look of utter exhausted confusion on her face as she peered through half open bloodshot eyes year after year will be etched on my mind forever. She used to let me open one or two items and then it was back to bed until the far more sociable hour of 5am, or six if she was lucky ….. then it all started again!
Well that is the way I feel this week, and have done so for the past few years the week before Christmas since my coffee journey began, because just like my Mum making sure that Father Christmas visited all those years ago, Santa Steve at Has Bean now does so for me all over again. I shall explain more shortly.
Back in the old days, I would choose my main Christmas present, once it was a digital watch, I remember a Pong game and my first proper bike. It was always in or next to my stocking along with lots of other wonderful gifts. Many of them were fantastic little gadgets that would catch the imagination of any small boy. They were not the sophisticated electronic gadgets of today, but fun little things like pencil shapeners and money boxes than grabbed the coin if you placed it on a mechanical spring loaded switch, origami kits and moulds in the shape of cartoon characters that were filled with a plaster type substance and painted. It was often those little gifts that were still being investigated and filling my imagination late into the evening of Christmas day as we settled down with my Grandparents to watch Morcambe & Wise or the Two Ronnies. Those evenings constitute some of the most wonderful magical memories of my life.
The grown-ups had their presents on the tree in the afternoon, and enevitably, there were more presents there for me, which sometimes made Christmas lunch as big a blur of anticipation to me as Christmas Eve had been the night before! The presents I received from the tree were the medium sized ones somewhere in-between the single main present and stocking fillers that had been in my sack early in the morning, perhaps an early football video game or some Subbuteo teams, a radio/casette, records or tapes. There would always be something quite large to finish off, which one year was a cycle with gears to replace the smaller one I had received some years earlier. I nearly popped with excitement that day.
Back to today. Although the afternoon presents are far more sparse and the Christmas message far more important, time spent with loved ones is cherished here and now rather than its true value becoming apparent many years later, and my Grandparents are gone and much missed, that incredibly excited Christmas morning feeling has returned. For this week, I am mulling over the choice of Christmas coffees.
At this point, I have probably lost all readers other than my coffee chums. Rather like the Christmas mornings of childhood, when you had to believe in Father Christmas for the excitement to work, this will be lost on you unless you have experienced truely world class coffee and felt that same tingly feeling of excitement that accompanies it.
Not for us home roasted coffee at Christmas, we savour those all year round, though we will have a bag of our all-time favourite La Manuela on hand. Instead, we shall be spending the next couple of days perusing the choice of more exotic and unusual offerings at Has Bean before ordering a mixture of the slightly more expensive and our old favourites. A bag of the recently enjoyed Perfetio is a must. I will enjoy the rather unusual and very tasty cappuccini produced with this year’s Gethumbwini Peaberry, other possibilities are El Injerto, Herbazu and the as yet untried (by us) Limoncillo. We may order a bag of the wonderful and often underrated Cacheoira. Smith’s Farms Kona will be in there somewhere. A box of Suki Belfast Tea is a certainty. The choices are infinate and that is part of the fun. Between now and Tuesday we will have lots of enjoyment and shall make our decision.
There will be great excitement when the coffees (and tea!) arrive later in the week. We all know that unbeatable buzz of roasted coffee arriving in the morning post. But that will not be the end of it, for although we will open and use some of the coffees by next weekend as people call to say Happy Christmas, one or two – the special ones – will not be opened until Christmas Day, and they will be met with the same child-like excitement of Christmas mornings long since past.
Merry Christmas everyone and a very peaceful new year to one and all.